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The Archive Team Friendster Snapshot Collection

Founded in 2002 by Jonathan Abrams and Peter Chin, Friendster was one of the more popular social networking sites, predating later services like Facebook and MySpace. It provided a singular platform to share music, writings, photographs and profiles between a growing amount of users, which grew to roughly 112 million over 9 years. Unlike previous sites like Geocities, Angelfire and Tripod, Friendster allowed larger spaces for upload of data, resulting in exponential growth and a leading destination for users on the web.

Friendster had resisted a $30 million offer in 2003 from Google to become a Google service, which they declined; Google then purchased and launched Orkut in 2004 to directly compete with Friendster. After some rounds of funding (roughly $12 million, $10 million, and $20 million), Friendster was sold for $26.4 million to MOL Global and rebuilt as a gaming site, primarily aimed at Asian markets. (By 2011, 90% of Friendster's activity by users were in Asian locations.) In making this transition, Friendster provided a few weak export tools and declared that all remaining user data would be deleted. This amount of data (by rough calculation) was in the 70-80 terabyte range.

Springing into action, Archive Team began mirroring Friendster accounts, downloading all relevant data and archiving it, focusing on the first 2-3 years of Friendster's existence (for historical purposes and study) as well as samples scattered throughout the site's history - in all, roughly 20 million of the 112 million accounts of Friendster were mirrored before the site rebooted.

For the purposes of later historical study, record, and consideration, Archive Team is placing this mirror of Friendster Data in this collection. The archive is huge: well over 10 terabytes. As it was downloaded using a variety of machines and approaches, some gaps exist and amounts of data in each archive are random. The items will be split into roughly 100gb chunks, wherever possible.

If you are completely stunned at where to begin, we suggest this 40 gigabyte file of the first 340,000 accounts of Friendster:

Thanks to all the members of Archive Team and other supporters for this project's completion.


Archive Team
Web Crawls

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The Archive Team Friendster Snapshot Collection
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The Archive Team Friendster Snapshot (FRIENDSTER-002900001)
The Archive Team Friendster Snapshot (FRIENDSTER-010200000)